Neuroscience and Human Motivation

Johnmarshall Reeve and Woogul Lee

in The Oxford Handbook of Human Motivation

Published in print February 2012 | ISBN: 9780195399820
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

 Neuroscience and Human Motivation

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Recognizing the potential for interdisciplinary research in motivational neuroscience, the goal of the present chapter is to show the relevance of neuroscience research to human motivation researchers and to suggest ways to expand their programs of research, methodological options, and theoretical conceptualizations of the motivational constructs with which they work. To illustrate the neural bases of human motivation, we highlight 15 key motivation-relevant brain structures, identify the neural core of reward-based motivated action, and discuss a range of brain-generated motivational states that extend from those that are relatively automatic and stimulus dependent (e.g., pleasure from taste) to those that are relatively intentional and context sensitive (e.g., goals). We then examine the following 10 well-researched concepts from the human motivation literature to suggest how each might be enriched through neuroscientific investigation: agency, volition, value, intrinsic motivation, extrinsic motivation, flow, expectancy, self-efficacy, self-regulation, and goals. We conclude with suggestions for future research.

Keywords: motivation; neuroscience; striatum; reward; dopamine; prefrontal cortex

Article.  11462 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Social Psychology

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